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Big Ten men's basketball power rankings

Conference play begins Friday.

1. Purdue (7-0): Zach Edey is the favorite again to win national player of the year, but the No. 1-ranked Boilermakers can be scary good if their guards keep progressing.

2. Illinois (5-1): Terrence Shannon Jr. is an All-America guard, and the Illini are seeing Minnesota native Dain Dainja turn into a formidable inside presence.

3. Ohio State (6-1): The Buckeyes are led by maybe the best backcourt in the Big Ten with sophomores Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr.

4. Michigan State (4-3): Tyson Walker couldn't carry Tom Izzo's Spartans alone in losses to Duke and Arizona, but only the James Madison upset was a major concern.

5. Wisconsin (5-2): Badgers coach Greg Gard has arguably his deepest team, but how far they go is likely to ride on the shoulders of Minnesotans Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl.

6. Indiana (5-1): NBA scouts are drooling over 7-foot Oregon transfer Kel'el Ware, who is on pace for a breakout first year in Bloomington.

7. Northwestern (5-1): The Wildcats can prove last season's surprise second-place finish was no fluke with All-Big Ten guard Boo Buie back.

8. Iowa (5-2): Fran McCaffery's teams can always score with the best of them, but how will the Hawkeyes fare without stars like Luka Garza and the Murray twins?

9. Rutgers (5-1): Scarlet Knights are still waiting for big man Cliff Omoruyi to reach his potential. Clock is ticking on his time in Piscataway.

10. Nebraska (7-0): Fred Hoiberg's squad hasn't played anyone tough yet, but the Cornhuskers are undefeated and have a budding star with Keisei Tominaga.

11. Michigan (4-3): Juwan Howard's health was the biggest concern to open the season, so getting him back comfortable as the head coach on the sidelines is what matters most.

12. Maryland (4-3): The Terps are the biggest disappointment in the Big Ten so far, because they seemed to have the pieces to be a contender.

13. Gophers (5-2): Dawson Garcia is legit. But Ben Johnson is searching for consistency from everyone else to start the season.

14. Penn State (4-3): First year Nittany Lions coach Mike Rhoades saw his transfer-laden squad struggle with three straight losses in a tough nonconference stretch.